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A Remarkable Piece of Graffiti on an Abandoned Synagogue in Lebanon

October 31, 2011

This is part of the south wall of the Magen Abraham Synagogue located in Downtown Beirut. Since it was built in Moroccan style in the 1920s, the synagogue has served as a focal point for Lebanese Jewry until the community’s demise in the last decades of the 20th century. It had endured bombings and shellings during the country’s protracted civil war in the 80’s and was severely damaged. It has recently undergone full restoration, paid for by wealthy Lebanese Jews living overseas.

The Hebrew Graffiti reads in part:

הנצחון הוא לישראל על כל שונאיו כי ה’ איתו

אני שמח ן’ מתנאל ביום ראשון….

Translation:

Victory (is to) Israel, against all its enemies for God is with him

I Samach Ibn Matanel, first day of …..

According to some estimates there are only around forty Jews remaining in the Lebanese capital. It is doubtful that the Beit Knesset would ever resume activity (and it’s safe to assume that this historic graffiti has been washed away during the restoration). According to an official Lebanese source: “”The Jewish community never served as a target for anyone in Lebanon. All the Jews who left the country did so of their own free will. We’re not talking about renewing prayer in the synagogue, but only about renovation as a symbol of the great diversity of Lebanon and the history of the community,”.

The Synagogue now even boasts its own facebook page here

More:

Beirut synagogue restored to glory, despite tensions with Israel

Restoration Nearly Complete at Beirut’s Only Synagogue

Hope for Beirut’s Jews as a synagogue is reborn (read critique of this article here)

CNN video on the project

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